Answering Norm Fields and James Oldfield – December 4, 2007

Watching the broadcast last night, I was struck by a few things.  I’d like to make some observations.

1)  For those of you in the viewing area, have you noticed how none of the CofC TV hosts use theme music for their broadcasts?  They just put up their logos (which, by the way, are pretty cheesy – just my personal opinion – too much clip art.  Don’t you guys have any graphic artists in your assemblies who could design something nice?  But I digress…), and there is nothing but silence.  Why is this?  Since they don’t have the “authority” to play instruments in worship, they also lack the “authority” to have music on their broadcasts?  They could use acapella singing if they wanted – anything would be better than that cheesy clip art set to silence.

2)  Has anyone noticed that at the start of “A Word from James Oldfield the Lord” it says “Church of Christ”?  The “C” is capitalized?  Is that a subconscious error on the part of the “Church of Christ” in Reidsville that they know that they are just a regular church like any other?  Interesting… 

3)  James, my friend, you are obviously a knowledgable man, but your broadcast was just dull last night.  I guess I missed the hidden camera footage, after all.  I’ve been sucked in by the Jerry Springer-esque hidden camera footage!  That’s pretty sad – and honestly, that’s the stuff that most folks tune in to see, I think.  But even then, I really wanted you to stop talking about what everyone else is doing wrong (in terms of prophecy) and talk about what you stand for.

Now, it finally got interesting when your Seventh Day Adventist caller called in and started arguing with you.   You need to be careful with facial expressions, however – I commented to my wife that you looked like a kid in a candy shop while that pastor was talking.  I’ll be interested to see what comes of the debate.  His name is Dr. Andre Saunders, right?  From Ross Street 7th Adventist Church?  Interesting…

4)  Dr. Saunders, and then the caller on Norm’s broadcast, reminded me of why this blog exists.  Both of them fell into every trap that the Church of Christ lays out.  The arguments made were the same arguments we hear week after week, and Norm and James and Johnny know how to respond to this like they know the back of their hands.  I’m going to start a discussion of what arguments folks SHOULDN’T make when they call into these programs, because our callers last night made quite a few of these.

5)  And again, I say that Norm Fields is the most dangerous of all of these men.  He’s the best-spoken of the three, and he’s got a rationality about him that makes you watch and just wonder how he can possibly believe some of the things he is teaching.  

6)  I thought one caller last night hit the nail on the head, and made a pretty compelling argument for the “authority” to talk about our need to have Jesus in our heart.  He quoted Romans 10:8-11, which says:

“But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, [even] in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.


For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.” 

Pretty good citation of Scripture!  I didn’t think Norm answered it well, at all.  Bravo, caller!  Bravo! 

Looks like we’re possibly in for another debate on January 17! Check back here for viewer’s thoughts and comments! Will the Church of Christ be victorious this time? They struck out on their last two debates with the Presbyterians and Mr. Deloa – will they do better with Dr. Saunders?


16 thoughts on “Answering Norm Fields and James Oldfield – December 4, 2007

  1. You’re right, James seemed as if he was boring himself with his own presentation.

    Here we go again, with the Seventh Day Adventist agreeing to “debate,”
    we have two non-christian religions going at it and the only real loser will be the viewing audience.

    The place to hammer these guys is on their history. Notice that when anyone calls in and mentions the Campbell’s, they don’t dwell on it very long. They claim apostolic succession and everyone else is in a man-made religion. Well, their religion began with primarily four men. Thomas and Alexander Campbell, Barton Stone and Walter Scott. If the “Lord’s Church” was functioning in North America in the early 19th Century, Why did they start a new church instead of joining with the one that already existed?

    Thanks for the new blog.


  2. Hi Tommy,

    Actually, they disarm this pretty quickly. They say that they don’t follow Campbell or the others, but they follow the NT. The interesting point here is that they apparently don’t believe that the “Lord’s Church” WAS functioning in North America in the early 19th century. It had to be restored.

    Where did the church go? I’ve often wondered.

    As to the Seventh Day Adventists being non-Christian, I don’t know that I’d agree with that. I’ve known some fine, Christian 7th Dayers in my time. Looking over their fundamental beliefs at, I find the only thing that gives me pause is the status they give to Ellen G. White. I need to read over the whole page a bit deeper, though.

    But, this isn’t a place to debate and discuss the 7th Dayers. We need to give them the tools to win this debate!

  3. Did anyone catch Johnnys last night–looked like another repeat. I am always amazed at the spin these guys put on the thief on the cross.


  4. Sorry the C of C is not too experienced at TV production and graphics. We are new to the medium. I never understood the capitalization argument. I don’t see how Jesus cares whether the word “church” is in capital letters.

  5. Oh, I don’t think Jesus does care – it’s the “church of Christ” that seems to care.

  6. And “new to the medium”?!? Just the other night Johnny was bragging about how long he’s been doing TV in this community. Which is it?

  7. If the term “church of Christ” is a name, then it is both unscriptural and ungrammatical NOT TO CAPITALIZE the “C” in Church. Not capitalizing church is as wrong as not capitalizing “Christian”. When addressing any name, such as “Steve”, “Josh” “Ernie,” etc it is always capitalized. It should follow then that just as the name “Christian” is capitalized, the name “church of Christ” should be capitalized (if it is indeed a name). Or, is my word processor the only one that gives me a red wavy line under the word “christian” when I deliberately spell it with a little “c”? But “church of Christ” or “church of God” are not names for the church, but descriptors!

    Are “Elder (Presbyter), Pastor (Shepherd) and Bishop (Overseer)” all names? Should our elders go around calling themselves, “Pastor Smith”? How about “Elder Smith”? Why not “Bishop Smith”? Let’s not forget to capitalize since they are all names! We all understand that these are not names, but descriptions of their function or qualification: The word “elder” implies an older man of age; The word “shepherd” implies one who loves and cares; The word “overseer” implies authority and control. If “Church of Christ” is a name, then “Pastor” is a name! The truth is, neither “pastor”, “church of Christ” or “disciple” are names, but descriptions! But the reality is that most ultra conservative church of Christ groups use the little “c” and what they call change agents or liberals use the big “C”……told you we split over anything, we even seperate by using a little “c” and and big “C”.

  8. By the way, welcome to the blog, David.

    I visited your blog, and it appears that you are one of the more open-minded Church of Christ folks. Sorry if I seemed to come at you strongly, but we’re in the middle of a struggle with some pretty hard core fundamentalist Church of Christ folks here, and it sometimes makes us act out.


    Your blog is well-done, by the way.


  9. What can I say – we’re only as good as the material from which we’re given to work!

  10. Maybe “faithful” can assist us, seeing he is so highminded to call himslef the faithful one. Are you faithful in all things faithful?? You sound like the Preachers that Johnny and crew put down for calling themselves “Rev”. Before you think you have me cornered, I know it’s nothing wrong with being faithful to Christ, but just what are you faithful to—I bet the Church of Christ denomination doctrine.

  11. Tommy, this is some of what is going on the blog I started. The guy below holds to the same view as the guys here.

    jdb1972 said,
    January 8, 2008 @ 8:10 pm

    Wondering: Would you mind taking an article to define what you mean by “legalism”? It’s one of those words that seems to mean vastly different things to different people (like “fellowship” or the political buzzword “change”).

    churchesofchrist said,
    January 8, 2008 @ 8:45 pm

    ” taking an article” lol ….I will confess, I lack the writing skills that you have, and lack the time you have, so yes, I will “take articles” to save time… I read between the lines pretty dang good though

    In short, I am referring to men who place man-made/man-conceived laws from silence, examples, using the CENI hermeneutic to bind these laws upon people.

    Jeff, you and I have chatted some on Nathans blog and you left there a while back after we talked about the inability to understand the bible perfectly the same and the impossibility for everyone to understand it the same. You will say you are right and some will say you are wrong, and the some I refer to are your brethren in the Church of Christ. Some preach the pattern, but never do you detail this pattern.

    You might say the Lords supper MUST be taken on each Sunday and other brethren in other Church of Christ meeting places will not use CENI hermeneutic and conclude one can do “as often as”. And, I am sure you know there are at least 25 sects within the Church of Christ –all claiming to be teaching the “gospel” the same, and have split over at least 100 issues. The CofC is denominated just as bad as the denominations they often condemn.

    When someone takes their take on an example and binds that as law upon another person and disfellowships them when they don’t comply—this is legalism. I do welcome you to visit here again and hope to see more comments, because you do have a great gift of writing

  12. Just note about the Adventists, since you responded to it.

    A closer look at their beliefs would be a good idea. I have spoken to several Adventists and they tell me that those who don’t keep the Saturday Sabbath are not saved. Sound familiar? Just another way of saying that they are the only true Christians.

    They are guilty of adding law to grace and expect to be saved. The Adventist Church here in Danville on Piney Forest Rd. has a cross and Roman Numerals 1 thru ten beside the cross. NO, That is not how it goes.

    There are other issues such as their view of end times, restriction of meat and the prominence of Ellen G. White’s writings.

    Anyway, please look closer at their teachings; you may be surprised.


  13. I would agree with Tommy. They treat Saturday just like many within the Church of Christ treat Sunday-Lords supper.

    Adding law to grace as a means of salvation is what Paul condemned, but grace will produce a heart desiring to obey the laws of God.

    Far as end times teachings–I think we could have different views here and still maintain unity in Christ. Many denominations teach this differently.

    Ellen G. or anyone adding to the word is sinful.

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